ECOLOGY AND ECOLOGICAL STRESS
Ecology is the study of the relationships between organisms and their environments. As such, it is subsumed into the larger subject of ecosystems, which encompasses both living and nonliving components of the environment. As a study of the biological aspect of ecosystems, ecology is properly a part of the biological sciences rather than the earth sciences; however, in practice it is difficult to draw a line between the disciplines. This is especially the case inasmuch as the study of the environment involves such aspects as soil science, where earth sciences and ecology meet. This fact, combined with increasing concerns over ecological stresses, such as the increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, warrants the consideration of ecology in an earth sciences framework.